Cubase Pro 11- Pre Fader Metering?

Hey all! I am about 2 months into Cubase Pro 11, adding it to my workflow alongside ProTools (primarily because of how amazing all the MIDI functionality is, but for other reasons as well). I just read this thread from Sep 2020. Does anyone know if true Pre Fader metering (e.g. after the inserts but before the fader) now exists in V11 Pro? I tried to RTM for this, but no luck. I’m sure hoping it is there.



If you read that topic you saw this post:

Hi Steve. Bottom line: I wasn’t asking if it was a valid feature. I was just asking if it existed. And yup, I saw that post. The tone of it was kind of condescending IMHO and suggests that to clearly understand at a glance what the sum of one’s total pre-fader chain is doing has to involve math, opening the last plug-in in the chain, and is a workflow that suits everyone. That is simply not true. Lots of well-respected users of various DAWs use pre-fader/post-insert metering to quickly see where any given track’s levels are agnostic of fader position. In large sessions it makes it super easy to see where gain staging issues might be building up as plugins are added/removed/tweaked over time, as new tracks are added to a bus, etc. Sure, I can try to keep track of this as I go per plug-in, per track, per group/bus, and dive back into the last plug-in on my chain to look at Output metering, and/or do some fader math on each track or bus at any given moment. Or: I could just instantly know that whatever a meter says about a track is the Truth about the level of that track before the fader.

All that said: I do get the other way of dealing with it that the detractors keep citing, and I understand that it nets out either way mathematically. Ultimately it is just not the only way to look at it, though, pun intended. Since so many other DAWs offer this, it would be just another option for users like me and others. It wouldn’t force anyone to abandon Input or Post Fader/Post Pan options. Another post in that thread wondered at why so many were adamant that this is request is somehow “wrong” just because they don’t work with meters/faders that way. I see no reason not to have it.



As stated in the other thread, this is a user-engineering-error. Gainstaging issues - should not be building up. Pre-Fader/Post-Insert meters weren’t invented for gainstaging issues to build up and then fix. Proper engineering, is gainstaging as you make changes per-insert per-parameter. You don’t need pre-fader/post-insert to do this as you can just gauge the level change post-fader regardless of the faders position.

This is proper efficient audio engineering workflow. Letting gainstaging issues build up and then checking pre-fader/post-insert levels and then having to fix them and screw up your mix is not efficient workflow

I’ll quote my last to posts I made in that thread

As to why other DAWs have it, perhaps they are copying ProTools thinking it will help transition users to their DAW. And as to why ProTools has it, this was probably to transition people from recording consoles and tape and imo, I actually think it’s a old defunct legacy feature of ProTools. Something they added to emulate consoles, but didn’t really need to.

maybe, it would be used in some sort of digital->analog tape or console situation… but I don’t know, don’t think so.

Thanks, LoveGames. As the myriad replies to and fro on this topic indicate, agree to disagree is gonna be where I leave this I guess. All I was really asking was if V11 Pro had this. It does not. I’m bummed, but I’ll get over it. You are free to approach gainstaging and “proper” engineering as you wish, as am I, and that’s cool.

Sure, amen: critiquing/dissecting feature requests is totally fair game. To me, to say adding this would rock the resource boat at Steinberg so much as to perhaps make your life worse because it would divert the brain trust so significantly might be a stretch, but I understand the macro point about prioritizing a backlog of software development features. It’s what I do to pay the rent, actually. I just raised that point from the orig thread post since it was referred back to initially by the other responder. It’s also not just a ProTools legacy holdover. It’s in Logic X, Studio One, Reaper, etc. So in other analogous user communities it was deemed worthy is all I was pointing out.

I know posting some other articles and 3rd person thoughts about why I (and others) might enjoy and choose to use post-insert/pre-fader metering will likely not really help sway opinions, and create more time spent on the forum back and forth instead of mixing. I’m going to get back to it. I can either change my metering mindset and workflow in Cubase or keep mixing in PT, or a bit of both- the joy of choice!



Woops- just re-read and saw your theory about other DAWs having it bc perhaps they copied PT. Could be- who knows? Doesn’t matter, but didn’t mean to beat that point again.

As you now know the feature it is not in Cubase 11, I just wanted to reply to say that you could post a simple request for the feature and add the Feature Request tag. (I’m not sure if there’s one there already)

That topic I posted from was pretty “ranty”, but the explanation from GlennO was apt, and he is an expert in the field, being the author of a popular (non Steinberg) plugin. (He mentions which in one of his posts.)

Anyway, I have no skin in the game and simply post to help route the topic to the right “place”.

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Thanks, Steve. I’ll do that. GlennO’s explanation is fine and I’m not denying his expertise, but it is not the only approach is truly all I have been trying to say.

Of course. I’m just citing the signal I parsed from the noise.

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I’m not sure why I got interested in this thread, I’m really not an expert in the field, as I’ve never really worked with high end consoles. But I deduce from the discussions that there is a clientele coming from the analog world interested in the great possibilities offered by Cubase, but this option which corresponds to a way of doing things or rather to a preference in the way of approaching it, the recording and mixing does not exist, it slows down their eagerness to make the big leap to Cubase.

I know this option is not very useful in a DAW and that in reality it is possible to achieve a great mix whether it is pre or post fader metering. But the interest of integrating this function for some depends only on how they like to mix If this can get more Cubase users, it’s good for Steinberg. Am I right?

If this option is well implemented, it should not cause any problems and satisfy some current and future users. So why not.

Right click on any track in the mixer and you will find the way to set metering as you wish.

Thanks, Puli. That’s not the issue. There is no metering option in Cubase that shows you the signal after all the inserts but before the fader.

The engineer I study with uses Pre Fader to ensure that the signal going into a VST Synth or fx plugin is not going in too hot. If it does, it can cause problems down the line. Apparently around -18 dB is the optimum level for these to work correctly. He uses a lot of outboard gear to run tracks through so this is really handy to have in Cubase if you are wanting to get the correct signal to ratio. He uses Logic Pro X. I’ve been trying to find a way to do this in Cubase but still nothing until I read this thread.
Just saying.

No, it doesn’t. Pre fader metering does not show level going in to plugins.

This is only true for a small number of plugins. Those plugins for which it’s true already have their own input meter because neither pre fader nor post fader meters will show you the input level to those plugins.

The reason people are replying to these feature requests is not because they don’t want the feature added. They are replying to point out factual errors in the requests.


No, it doesn’t. Pre fader metering does not show level going in to plugins.

Said with confidence, but completely wrong – at least in Cubase 12. You can test this yourself.

  1. Put an plugin into a channel that can increase volume.
  2. Play a sound on that track that is consistent in volume.
  3. Use the plugin to increase the volume a whole bunch.
  4. Look at the meter with Pre-Fader turned on and note the level.
  5. Look at the meter with post fader on and look at the level.

You’ll find that with Pre Fader on, the meter will NOT increase in level even though the plugin is increasing the volume.

But with post fader on, the meter will show the increased level created by your plugin.

Pre fader metering is very useful for someone like me who uses a TON of VST instruments and plugins in the chain. Because just by looking at the meter, I can tell the level signal that channel is getting. If something sounds not-right, I open the plugins from top to bottom to see who the culprit is.

Especially useful for a buss – I can mute everything going to it one by one to find the ugliness.

And by looking at the final Buss that buss/channel is going to, I can see if the whole chain is too hot even if not overloading a plugin. Plugins overload.

And some instruments put out a waaaay too hot level. Especially Kontakt. Sometimes I’ll be changing patches on a synth and one sound will be way louder than the previous.

Pre-fader metering = knowledge. It’s not merely a matter of clipping or overloading (different things), but a matter of keeping the dozens and dozens and sometimes hundreds of signals consistent in order to be able to gain stage correctly.

Of course, ears rule. But when your ears tell you something’s wrong, pre fader metering helps find it.

One annoying thing about Cubase – when pre fader metering is on, it is also on for the Master fader! Oops! Bad decision. Doesn’t really matter to me cuz I export and mix in Luna. But still…

I just checked Cubase 12 and I’m quite certain you’re mistaken. The comment you quoted is indeed correct.

I think the problem is you’re confusing Input Metering with Pre-Fader metering. Cubase has always had Input Metering. What you are calling Pre-Fader metering is called Input metering in Cubase.

The topic of this thread is not Input metering. The topic of this thread is Pre-Fader metering. You can see from the comments above that the difference is Input metering is before the inserts and Pre-Fader metering is after the inserts. Cubase has never had Pre-Fader metering. If you read this thread, you’ll see Pre-Fader metering does not show input levels going into plugins and is basically useless in a DAW. The fact that it is useless probably explains why Steinberg has never offered it as a meter position option.

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Thanks for splaining. Once again, I was confused by Cubase not being engineers or musicians and making up their own terms. Everyone in the real world (not cubase world) calls it prefader metering.

Like they never heard the term buss. There are no busses in cubase. sigh

Sorry, but you still have your terms mixed up. Input Metering is not the same as Pre-Fader Metering. Pre-Fader Metering is a term that is clearly defined in other DAWs. As you can see in the posts above, Pre-Fader metering is different than what Steinberg calls Input Metering. Cubase does not have Pre-Fader Metering.

If you’re saying you want Steinberg to add Pre-Fader Metering to Cubase, I would suggest you follow Steve’s advice above and start a new topic to request that new feature. I’m sure somebody from Steinberg will read and consider your request.